People, Travel

Southern Ferry Routes Expanding

Southern Ferry Routes ExpandingSouthern Ferry Routes Expanding

The cruise line between Oman’s Khasab Port and Iran’s Bahonar Port in Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan Province, will be officially launched on September 22 while another is slated for launch in 2017 between Chabahar and Karachi in Pakistan.

According to Mohsen Ziaei, the head of Hormozgan’s office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the Khasab-Bandar Abbas ferry service is part of the two states’ agreements to expand their commercial, political and tourism ties.

“In line with the project, guidebooks and CDs are being prepared to introduce investment packages and incentives as well as the province’s natural and cultural attractions and handicrafts,” the official was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Ziaei hoped that the move will cause a boom in Hormozgan’s tourism sector and boost domestic and foreign investment, and help develop the country’s business relations and the sale of Iran’s handicrafts in Oman and other Persian Gulf countries.

ICHHTO’s office in Sistan-Baluchestan Province also plans to launch a marine transport service between Chabahar and Karachi in Pakistan.

Kambiz Moshtaq Gohari, the head of the provincial ICHHTO office, said that given the proximity of the two ports, a marine route is essential to developing bilateral relations.

“Preliminary discussions with Pakistani officials have been held and the ferry line is expected to become operational next year,” he told ISNA.

Both Iranian and Pakistani vessels are likely to be used in the transport line depending on passenger demands.

“As an initial step, one ferry will operate in the shipping line and the number can be increased later when the service is economically justifiable for the vessel owners,” said Gohari.

Passengers can take a cruise from Gwatar Bay in Iran to Gwadar Bay in Pakistan. These trips are expected to be welcomed by the residents of Chabahar and Karachi who have been in close touch for years, but tour operators will later be involved to promote the trip among all Iranian and Pakistani tourists.